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Casper PD expects ~$36K in overtime costs for open container nights; City Council to finalize rules Tuesday

(Shutterstock)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper City Council will look to finalize rules for summer downtown open container events at its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 17.

The open container area would be similar to the boundaries in summer 2021, though the City Council is looking to change the boundaries to allow Black Tooth Brewing to participate.

The Downtown Casper Business Association requested the boundaries be extended to include Frosty’s Bar & Grill as well as retail stores between 1st and 2nd Streets along Center Street, and the Nicolaysen Art Museum also expressed interest in being included in the open container area, but the City Council has indicated it does not want to extend the boundaries to meet those requests.

The times for the open container nights will remain unchanged from summer 2021 under the proposed rules the City Council is considering. Open container events would be allowed to take place between 5 and 10 p.m. Thursday–Saturday starting Memorial Day weekend and ending Labor Day weekend. The proposed map is as follows:

(City of Casper)

The proposed rules would no longer require participating liquor establishments to use stickered containers during the open container nights, but would require the use of designated wristbands. Participating establishments, which can only include business with retail, microbrewery or distilling liquor licenses within the open container area, would be required to purchase the wristbands through the Casper City Clerk’s Office, a memo from city staff explains.

The Casper Police Department is anticipating about $36,000 in overtime costs in order to staff the open container nights. This is the approximate cost of four officers working overtime at 12 open container nights throughout the summer for a total of 720 overtime hours, according to the memo. Overtime pay varies depending on which officers staff the events.

Instead of having city staff go out and place signage indicating the open container boundaries and removing that signage after the events each week, the city is planning to install semi-permanent signs at the boundaries of the open container area in order to reduce expenses on staff time, according to the memo.

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